I sat outside next to a barn my mom built it wasn’t like those big red ones, it was just a building with several stalls for animals, there where no walls. One of the stalls was atched to part of the yard to let the horses have tons of room to run around. We also had some chickens, ducks, geese and a cow.
I was 16 and was sitting on the ground and drawing, while my mother was talking to someone who was dressed as a cowboy. No joke and make it ten times better they where sitting on hay bales, it was as if we were really in the old west. He had the boots and everything. Anyway the sun was setting so I started to gather my things and take them inside. walking past the burn pile and old big truck we had in the yard. I’m not sure why we had an old truck sitting there but we where told to stay away from it. As I opened the door I looked at the time on the stove, which read it was after 6 so I took a shower. after my shower I went to the kitchen and warmed up some spaghetti from the previous night, but noticed my mom was still outside, I got my shoes on and went outside to get her.
I made my way over to where she was sitting, still talking to the cowboy. I tapped her shoulder, and she looked at me with no emotion on her face. She was blank.
“We need to go inside, mom it’s getting dark,” I said looking at her and the cowboy. They both showed no emotion, and until now I don’t even remember them talking about anything, or them talking at all, like they just stared at each other and I imagined the talking. They both stared at me for a long time before standing up. I thought, “maybe she finally was listening to me?” but I was wrong. They both pulled up their right hands and placed it behind their head and smiled at me in a psychotic way, before slowly pulling something from the back of their neck to their face. After a moment I saw it was a zipper and underneath the human skin suit was a walking cactus. Their smiles remained on their faces as the both shed their skin.
I was standing there to scared to move, wondering what they would do to me how long had they been ‘hiding’ themselves. I took a step back and that’s when they growled, it was like a wolf but creepier knowing it came from this thing. I stood still long enough to watch them, and in those few seconds I saw them, the real them and not the skin suited liars they where. They had all ten fingers and toes but they where green and covered in needles. Their eyes are bright yellow, stared at me, as if they had been waiting for me, but for what I didn’t care to find out. I couldn’t tell if they had genders because there was no indication of boy or girl on either. So what the hell where they and why are they after me?
I decided not to find out and took off running to the house, but as I neared the door it opened and there were more of them inside. I turned to head back to the barn to find something I could use as a weapon or maybe a place to hide, but there was nothing to use and nowhere to hide. I turn around and looked for somewhere to hide I looked at the cactus people and for a plant they moved fast. I sighed knowing there was no escape, the truck might be a good place to hide but it was to high to reach. before it sat on the ground but now it sat on top a pile of junk, so climbing was out. By the time I got there they would have gotten me. Had they somehow done that? Are they magicians too? Oh God I hope not.
I wished I could fly to get away but that wasn’t happening. Just as I thought that I felt a stinging in my back and looked to see two big white wings behind me.
“OK, what the hell?” I thought but didn’t have time to think long seeing them grab at me. I held my breath and closed my eyes and spread my wings to hopefully fly away from this nightmare. When I opened my eyes I was in the air, and I smiled thinking that maybe I would get away. I started flapping my wings to get away, I made it a few feet from the junk pile and truck when I felt something sharp digging into my ankles. I looked down to see their arms had extended like elastic and where tightly wrapped around my ankles.
I tried to get away but they where somehow stronger. Once my feet hit the earth my wings disappeared into my back, and I hoped they’d come back if I needed them. I looked at the one that dragged me to earth and saw the pride in his eyes for catching me. two others grabbed my arms and the first one let my ankles go.
“Who are you, better yet what are you and what do you want with me?” I asked my voice surprisingly calm even though my head was screaming that I was probably going to die or something.
It smiled and looked at the others holding me and pointed at the truck. I was pulled to the truck and stopped at the drivers side, opening the door the first cactus person looked at me and, what I assumed told me to sit with his eyes. I sat in the driver’s seat confused, this thing was dead, it hasn’t been driven in years. I looked at them and crossed my arms over my chest, I could try and run again since they let me go so I could get in the truck, but I knew they would catch me easily. So I sighed and looked at the place where the steering wheel would have been had I not smashed it with a sledgehammer a couple years ago.
“I don’t know what you want me to do. This thing is dead and has been for years and even if it did start to work somehow there’s no steering wheel so it can’t be driven.” I looked at them and the first one smiled that damn smile from earlier and looked at the others and then started to laugh like a creepy killer clown would. The first one leaned over my and pointed at a stick next to the chair like in a stick shift car, but I didn’t remember that being there. I’m guessing it wanted me to pull it so I did once he moved, and I felt the chair lay down and tilt me forward and watched the floor where the peddles had been fall away to reveal a tunnel.
I slid into the tunnel screaming my lungs out and watched as the tunnel went from tube like to slide like and realized I had stopped screaming as I saw why they had me pull the lever. I looked around at the ant like tunnels and saw dozens of them. There were some farming that had stopped when they saw me sliding down, there were even children cactus people. I looked at where the slide stopped at and it was the big mound in the center of this town.
Once I came to a stop I felt another pair of hands grab me and saw it was I’m guessing the king by the big crown on his head.
“Ah my bride has finally arrived. Come get her ready, we only have an hour!” he said happily as he left me with two smaller cactus women.
“So they do have genders,” I thought as they dragged my to a tub of hot water. I tried to move away and escape but felt my arms and legs where numb, I couldn’t even bring my wings out. damn.
I let them dress me in a wedding dress and put my hair up and makeup. I couldn’t even open my mouth to say anything. Had he done something before leaving me? As if knowing my thoughts one of the cactus women spoke.
“He temporarily numbed your body and put a poison in your system. if you say yes to marrying him then he will undo it, if not the poison will reach your heart and you will die. and not to sound cruel but I’m tired of getting a bride ready for him everyday to watch her die. Too many women have chosen to die rather than marry him, please say you’ll marry him,” she looked at me and I saw the pain of doing the same thing every day just to watch it turn to dust and have to start over the next day. I looked at my hands in my lap, I had nothing back home to go back to, but I was not marrying a freaking cactus! That’s beyond crazy.
I didn’t look at them the rest of the time they got me ready, mostly because they still creeped me out. Once I was finished the cactus women laid me on the edge of the bed with my feet hanging off touching the floor. They left the room and I sat in silence for what seemed like hours. I heard the door open and saw the king stand next to me and look at someone else entering, telling them to hurry he didn’t have time to waste. I heard another voice begin, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying, it sounded like an alien language.
The king looked at me and when the other voice stopped, said I do. The other voice started up again and when it stopped I knew he was asking if I would take the king as my husband. I looked at the king and saw him smile, he didn’t know what love was and he was willing to try and marry someone, no matter how many times it has blown up in his face. I felt light-headed and my eyes felt heavy, and I heard the king scream that the poison was moving to fast. I felt a stinging in my chest and felt my head get better, and heard the king ask if I was OK. I nodded and heard the other voices continue and heard the king laugh, and telling everyone to get out while he spends time with his queen. I felt the feeling return to my body and opened my eyes, seeing the king standing over me, smiling like the others on the farm.
“Now it’s time for the wedding night to begin,” he said slowly leaning down.
I raised my arms and closed my eyes still a little to weak to get up and run, and felt pain in my whole chest, like I was laying on a cactus.
I jumped up in my bed sitting up and grabbing my chest. There where no needles from the cactus people, but that dream seemed to real and the pain felt to real. had it been just that a dream? I sighed seeing I was in my room and not in the cactus people world, knowing now that it was a dream.
“Or was it?” I heard next to me.
I slowly turned my head and saw the cactus king slowly slide down the gap between my bed and the wall. I couldn’t hold back the scream in my throat as I felt them pull me into the mattress, back to that world from my bed.